Not too long ago, rumors began to surface that the X-Men franchise was coming to television in some form from Fox, and now—at this year’s TCA’s—representatives from the network have indeed confirmed that is their gameplan. Or, in the very least, they are trying really hard to make a television show set in the X-Men cinematic universe.
Fox Television Group Chairman and CEO Dana Walden said at the event, “We’re in negotiations with Marvel [and] we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to announce something soon. We’re not closed on a deal yet, but it’s something we’re definitely pursuing.” Although Fox has had the rights to live-action X-Men films for nearly two decades now, the television rights were another matter—which is how Marvel was able to previously produce the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series.
But what would an X-Men television series entail? Right now, the X-Men movie universe is arguably as strong as it’s ever been, with X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: First Class restoring the franchise in the eyes of the fans after faltering with sequels like X-Men: The Last Stand and the first Wolverine solo movie. So with X-Men: Apocalypse in production—and rumors of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy going past that—the “main” X-Men team is probably off limits. Normally, I’d suggest the junior spin-off team The New Mutants, but that is being developed as a film right now as well. Luckily, the X-Universe has tons of spin-off potential—like X-Factor, Excalibur and more—most of which would work on TV.
Were I the folks at Marvel Studios, I’d play hardball with Fox right now and, say, only allow them the rights to the X-Men in exchange for the Fantastic Four franchise rights. While it’s clear that Fox knows what they’re doing now with the Merry Marvel Mutants, it’s become achingly clear that Marvel must have their first family back and give that series the proper respect.